At the first presidential debate Monday night, Republican nominee Donald Trump again defended the "small loan" his father gave him to start his now hugely successful business. Democrat Hillary Clinton, while discussing jobs at the Hofstra University event, noted that the tycoon had been "very fortunate in his life" and had started out with a $14 million loan.
Viewers at home may be wondering which candidate is telling the truth. Was it $14 million or a small loan?
Trump initially disclosed the loan at a debate last year, saying it was $1 million — not "very much compared to what I've built," CNN reported. He echoed the statement this past spring. "Believe me, I started off with $1 million," Trump said at the time. "I built a company that's worth more than $10 billion. And I say it not in a bragging way, but that's the kind of thinking we need."
But a Wall Street Journal investigation published earlier this week uncovered a document showing that, in 1985, Trump owed his dad and his dad's companies roughly $14 million. A spokesman for the Trump campaign told the Journal Trump had previously been talking about a 1975 loan that was, indeed, just $1 million.
Trump and Clinton faced off Monday at the first presidential debate held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. The topics for the event were America's direction, achieving prosperity and securing America, Vox reported.
"Donald was very fortunate in life. He really believes the more you help wealthy people, the better it will be. I don't buy that," Clinton said at one point during the debate.
"My father gave me a very small loan," Trump countered.
Heading into the 90-minute showdown, the former secretary of state had a slight lead over Trump. Clinton was polling at about 46.6 percent nationally to his 44.3 percent, according to RealClearPolitics.
Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein were not invited to Monday's event because neither reached the 15 percent threshold required by the Commission on Presidential Debates. Stein, however, showed up at Hofstra anyway on Monday — and was promptly kicked off campus, USA Today reported. Johnson and his running mate were planning to watch the debate at Twitter's headquarters in New York City, according to ABC News.
Monday's debate was the first of three presidential matchups scheduled before the election. The candidates are set to face off at Washington University in St. Louis on Oct. 9 and at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas on Oct. 19. The nominees' running mates, Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, have been invited to an Oct. 4 vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.
Election day is Nov. 8.